Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh no, J. Lo....

At a premiere of her movie "The Back Up Plan"

Oh sad......bad hair......

I'm halfway through....

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Let me tell you, I actually did not want to read this book. I thought it was too pop-culture, too cliche, and too Oprah Book Club-y (well, it was an Oprah Book Club book and I do love Oprah, I DVR her everyday, so why do I care if it's an Oprah Book Club selection?) Anyway, one of my friends who teaches English at my school reads all of the time and she reads a really diverse collection of books and she's really smart. I remember her recommending it to me shortly after I started going through my divorce proceedings....I shook it off (knowing that I thought I was tooooooo goooooood for Eat, Pray, Love! ha ha!).

Anyway, I saw the trailer for the movie which will come out on August 10 and star Julia Roberts. The trailer grabbed me and I immediately starting thinking about how many days were between now and the release of the movie. Then, I thought....hmmmmm, this book may actually be something I could sink my teeth into and if I see the movie first, I'll never read the book!

Bottom line: I bought the book and so far, I love it. I'm halfway through and have been reading a little bit every night before bed. Right now, after I finish this post, I'm torn between: read more Eat, Pray, Love or grade Economics tests?? Hmmmmmm.....

Check out the book & the movie!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

House Painting Inspiration

So, this is the current look of my home (pic from last spring)

And, while I love green, I feel like my house is sort of blahhhhhhhhhhhhh looking! I like something snappy! Anyway, the paint is also chipping (even though my neighbors say the house was painted not too long ago...they must have used the wrong paint!?). I found this photo on's Curb Appeal website gallery and fell in love!

Getting an estimate in May, so stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thank you, Pier 1 & Homegoods!

Ah, how I love little finds at these two shops!

I found this lovely table runner for $39 that coordinates well w/ my living room decor (my dining area & living room adjoin, so I try to keep things consistent between the spaces). I also found this mosaic-style vase at Homegoods on clearance for $7!! Woo hoo!

I think it brings the space into the spring time juuuuuuuuuuuust a little bit!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It would be cool if....

I could buy the following things......

Pottery Barn's Chesapeake Bench Ice Chest ($369)
I'm not sure what makes it a Chesapeake ice chest (maybe the wooden slats...) but it's a cool way to disguise a..........cooler!?!?!

Meandering Meadow Rug by Anthropolgie ($998)

A pretty Granny Smith apple green rug!

Artemis Stone Necklace by Stella & Dot ($298)
A lovely combo of green jade, lemon and smoky quartz, and chrsophase all complete a gorgeous look!

Azobe Wood Planters from Restoration Hardware ($495-$995 each)

According to their website, "Modeled on containers from 19th-century European orangeries, our exclusive planters are hand-built in Poland from wood that once supported drying bricks at a Belgian factory." WHOA!

Pottery Barn's Palmetto Outdoor Sectional ($4,000)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things I need.....(well, kind of!)

These are products that I HIGHLY recommend. They are tried & true and absolutely part of my daily routine!!!

First off, my favorite face wash EVER: Olay Deep Cleansing for Oily/Combination Skin:
This sucker is hard to find too!!! Every drugstore (Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, etc) no longer carries it in my area! I check every time! But, I have bought it a Ulta and also, online at I buy 2-3 at a time. It removes tons of dirt and oil (nothing is on my cotton ball when I use my Pro-Active Astringent) and makeup. I use Pro-Activ for acne control, but their cleanser doesn't really remove eye makeup or foundation too well, so I use this first. Love it!

Loreal Voluminous Mascara:
A genius mascara. Period. I never leave the house without it on my lashes.

Moroccan Oil Treatment:
My stylist got this product line in at her salon about 6 months ago. I thought it was just another product....just another gimmick. No. It is unreal! It seals, protects, conditions, controls, and shines your hair!!!! It's expensive, but honestly, I've searched high & low for the ideal hair smoother and styler. This is it. I put a littl ein before blowdrying, before flat ironing, and then to finish. (PS, my hair is thick, wavy, and coarse, so I can put that much in it. People with thin and prone to oil may not be able to do that).

Nasal Cleansing Neti Pot:
Around the age of 28, I started experiencing seasonal allergies. Now, at 30, they are worse than ever (coincidentally, the news say 2010 is the worst year for allergies in ages too!) So, I am really not that keen on taking an allergy pill everyday. I'd like to do something more natural. So, every night (or every morning) I use the Neti Pot to naturally cleanse my nasal and sinus passages. I've felt a huge difference. Love it! Hey, if it's been around for a thousand years, it must be tried & true, right? I bought this Neti Pot below at Whole Foods.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yard updates....

April 23:

1. Did the first mow of the front yard
2. Spread insect disease killer
3. Spread Scotts Turfbuilder
4. Weeded front yard flower beds
5. Planted spring blooming perennials
6. Planted summer blooming perennial bulbs

April 24:
1. Mowed the yard
2. ATTACKED the overgrown, weedy flower beds. Here are the pics....

Note: the old woman who lived in my house since 1953 and raised 7 children (yes, 7 children!) in it has LOVELY perennials and an actual flower cutting garden. However, she went into a nursing home about 4 years ago. Then, her adult son lived here for a year and according to my neighbors, didn't do much with the back yard at all. Then, last summer when I had just moved in, I focused on my indoors and front yard only. This year, since I don't have may "indoor expenses," I am focusing mainly on the outdoors, and definitely on making my backyard with its fabulous space and deck to be a little sanctuary for reading over the summer time. It took me about 2 hours, but I cleared out all of the weeds, leaves, and crapolla!

Before 1: (leaf bags that I did a week ago before major rain, great! And, our local trash guys aren't picking up leaf/yard bags yet!)

Whew! Cannot wait to plant some leafy green shrubs and flowers!

BEFORE 2: Other side of the deck. This flower bed is HUGE!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Inspirational reads for the single girl....

I've been single for a year. Well, February 21, 2009 was the day I left my lying cheating husband. So, the weeks that followed I don't know if I count "those days".....(you know those days, those no makeup, puffy eyed, pajama panted pathetic days...).

Anyway, in addition to A LOT of things I have done to "get over" the trauma of my experience, I have also re-entered the world of singles. Deep down, I don't really even want a boyfriend. I feel like I'm really enjoying sleeping in my big queen-sized bed all alone; waking up, turning on the lights & playing loud music while I get ready for work in the morning; watching whatever I want on tv whenever I want to (and keeping a football-free household!); knowing that the only laundry I have to do is mine.....etc etc etc.

But, sometimes, I do get sad that I am single. I do want to share my life with someone and have a family, but alas, it's just not my reality right now. I think it's mostly due to the fact that I had prepared my life for a married-existence since I was engaged at age 26. I was ready to be a wife, start a family, and be married. Now, my existence is quite different than I imagined it would be when I was 30--I turned 30 on March 25! It's sad sometimes because I yearn for the life I dreamed of, but it's also exhilarating because I get to have this whole new life that I never anticipated and it's sort of like when you were a kid and you got to yell out: "Do over!!!" So, this is my do-over! And, it's kinda fun!

I have been reading a lot and two books that have been awesome in my search for single-satisfaction are below. If you are ever lucky enough to get your own do-over--OR--you have a friend that needs support and you'd like to recommend something, these books rock:

Easy & tasty summer salad!

Let me preface this by saying: I'm not much of a cook, this is a big moment for a girl who used to have a husband to cook for her all of the time! In the year that I've been single after my divorce, I've dabbled more in cooking, but honestly, I must say: cooking for just yourself sucks. It's hard to spend a lot of money on rich ingredients and take the time to cook a delicious and intricate meal for just me. But, I need to take more time to do things to make myself joyful and appreciate the little things. So, here is a meal I made tonight for myself.

So, there's a local vegan restaurant called "Garden Grille" in Providence and I LOVE their Pear & Asparagus Salad. I decided to make a close cousin of the salad on my own and here's how it went! PS, I'm not a vegan so I added my favorite salad cheese, crumbled goat cheese!

1st, I sliced pears (any type of pear will do!) and chopped the bottoms off of the asparagus. (I purchased both items from Whole Foods; also, ever since I've watched "Food Inc." I'm hooked on organic produce now!) I brushed the asparagus and pears w/ extra virgin olive oil using my trusty Pampered Chef silicon brush. (By the way, this $10-ish brush rocks! I hate the hair brushes that get all hard & crusty after using them! This one with a shot of warm soapy water is all clean and ready for its next job!)

Then, I put them on my Hamilton Beach indoor grille, which was one of the best $30-ish purchases I ever made!

Grill the pears till they are browned slightly and start to become a little translucent. The asparagus will need a little more grilling time. Then, I pushed the pears to the side for less intense heat until the asparagus was done.

Meanwhile, I prepped the salad: spring mix greens; crispy onions; chopped pecans; crumbled goat cheese.

Then, chopped the cooked asparagus & threw it (with the pears) onto the salad and mixed in some fat-free Balsamic Vinaigrette and there you go! Yummy!

PS, you could probably add chicken to give it more substance & protein.

Monday, April 5, 2010

All the women who independent? Throw your hands up at me!

......quoting Destiny's Child!

When I was married, I had never attempted anything like this!! I had always asked a man (ugh!) to do this for me. Well, I had watched them install switches/dimmers and thought, "Hey that's not so tough..." And tonight, it was either switch out the plug or have no light in my bathroom.

Anyway, the switch in my bathroom wasn't working really well lately...the lights would stay on when I had turned the switch off and also, I'd jiggle the switch around and hear an electrical crackle.....not good. Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and replace the little guy myself!

This is the original 1953 switch. I should've taken a pic of it in the wall, it was so dusty and disgusting.

I grabbed this new switch for about $10 at Lowe's and the switchplate was on clearance for $3.88 (score)! So, for about $15, I ended up with a surprisingly easy & modern look for a classic vintage tiled 1950s bathroom!

To do this, turn off the power circuit to your outlet.
Then, take the old switchplate off of the outlet.
Unscrew w/ a screwdriver the little screws holding the wires.
Remove the wires and then loop them around the same screwy thingys on the new outlet.
Tighten the screws to anchor it back in the wall & new switchplate!
Easy! Took me 5-10 minutes!

And here it is when switched off, a nice little orange glow....I thought this would be good for late night trips to the potty!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring 2010: Operation Outdoors

Last year, when I moved in, I focused primarily on getting the inside of my new home up to par, but now I want to use this year to focus on the outdoors. Things I hope to do....

To-Do List:

Front Yard:
1. Remove excess shrubbery
2. Plant annuals
3. Trim trees in front of house
4. Install window boxes
5. HOUSE PAINTED! (this is the biggest project and I'll be hiring someone to do this!)

Back Yard:
1. Clean up flower beds along back yard fence and house
2. Plant perennials along fence line and mulch beds
3. Patio furniture
4. Planters w/ annuals on deck